I was recently in a group conversation where I introduced the topic of Creativity, Passion and Fun. I was asked to kick off the discussion and explained my background as a singer songwriter and performer. If I remember correctly I started writing songs when I was a teenager. I have a long history of being a funny humorous person, a creative and a musical presence. I explained that my coaching business and my podcast are called Creative Engagement because of the importance that these words represent as values in my life.
But then the conversation stalled and died. I wondered if I had overshared.
I consider myself the CEO or my version of those letters which is Chief Encouragement Officer! So I suggested we go around the group and just share what we do for fun or what we consider as fun. This seemed to be a good way to include every person and make sure each voice was heard. It might be a way to look for themes.
As each person shared a very odd picture emerged. One share was a laundry list of frustrations. Really? When asked to share what you do or what you like as fun, you listed frustrations! The next person explained a recent history with depression. Yet another brought up grievances and complaints. Another voice recounted what used to be but no longer is fun. These responses left me with that "uh oh!" or " Oh No!" feeling.
A few voices did identify activities that brought up joy for them. They became more animated as the energy and their stories reminded them of joy and satisfaction and meaning. For these sharers the passion came through their bodies and faces. They lit up and lifted us up in the process.
I often have the experience when I am with a group of people that I feel each person in a group represents an aspect of me, or my self. I certainly have had depression and low self esteem and low confidence. I could empathize with not being able to access joy or fun. I also often use music and entertainment to shift my mood when I want or need to lift myself up.
As the Chief Encourager I really want to understand what would most help the grass is greener crowd to jump over that fence and do what they need to modify their experiences of suffering, powerlessness and lack of joy.
Here are a couple thoughts to ponder:
Everything is temporary. This too will pass. I think we can relate to the temporal nature of emotions, moods and themes in our lives.
We can change. Our brains are not fixed. Plasticity is a new term to me. As someone who has recently learned the power of unlearning relative to bodily pain. We can rely on our ability to change. A powerful metaphor for this was explained to me as the image of a ski slope. As more and more skiers follow the previous skiers path trail patterns are carved into the fresh powder. This is like our minds. We have habits or patterns that we follow over and over that become familiar. When a new storm blankets the mountain with a fresh deep coat of powder, the first few skiers down the mountain are making fresh choices without the visual information of where previous skiers went. They are forming new trails, new patterns. In the same way we can identify patterns as habits and interrupt them as we carve new trails.
If you have found yourself unable to access fun and joy in your life and you want to partner with an encouraging voice that is what I do. We have all in some way been impacted by this global pandemic. It is not surprising that fun seems like a distant memory or that thoughts of joy are accompanied by the fear that we might not be able to bring them back.
Reach out and ask to be reminded. Let's discuss what is blocking your access to a passionate experience, a new fun activity and a joyful life.